Tourists buy a fifth of 1.6 mn tickets for Rio Paralympics

Rio de Janeiro: A fifth of the 1.6 million tickets already sold for the 2016 Summer Paralympics, in which the opening ceremony will be held on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are now in foreign tourists hands, according to officials. The Paralympic flame was already lighted on Tuesday at a ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on the eve of the Paralympics Games start, EFE news reported. Embatur, the Brazil Tourism Board, reported that 300,000 of the total tickets sold until last Sunday were acquired by foreigners, mostly from the US, Germany, Britain, Japan, and France. Vinicius Lummertz, the Brazilian Tourism Board head, said that tourism will grow in the coming years in Brazil due to the extensive coverage that the international press gave to the Olympic Games and are expected to give to the Paralympics. According to the latest figures from the Organising Committee, 1.6 million tickets to the Paralympics, or 64 per cent of the 2.5 million tickets available to the public, have been sold until now. Sales increased significantly after the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympics on August 21, before then only 300,000 tickets had been sold and this would have been insufficient to finance every delegation's trips and meals. The Brazilian Paralympic Committee added that the number of tickets sold for the Rio 2016 Paralympics will be higher than that of the Paralympics in Beijing 2008. IANS